“Human” by Ethel Veva King Inspires Audrey

HumanEthelVevaKingThe Comet

Part 1

“Mama?” His small voice tip-toed out of the darkness.

“Yes, Jackson?” Her response was pillow-muffled and crackly.

“Mama, I saw something outside.” Georgia sat-up and looked toward the window, a cold fear roping around her spine.

“Come here, baby,” she said slow and hushed, reaching for Jackson and sliding off her bed. The young boy eagerly curled into his mama’s embrace and pressed a drippy nose into her neck. “What did you see?”

Jackson turned his head and held a chubby palm up to the window, “In the sky, Mama.”

Georgia creaked along the aged hardwoods in the attic room they rented from Mrs. Press. It was a large room, big enough for two beds, a dresser, and trunk. The walls were white-washed, but in the night only a thin crust of light came in through the only window. Georgia traced the light to keep from stumbling in the obsidian shadows.

She stretched out a thin, tanned finger to peek out the polyester lace. Georgia studied the stretching lawn below first, just until her heart quit hiccuping against her ribs. Two years had passed since she escaped her husband with Jackson, but that kinda haunting is hard to banish. Jackson swiped drool-coated fingers down her cheek to get her attention. Georgia peered into his heavily lashed eyes, all glassy and dark.

“What did you see, Jackson?”

continue reading …

Advertisements

“Human” by Ethel Veva King Inspires Anne

HumanEthelVevaKingHuman Behavior

Naveera never felt more alive than during nighttime in Manhattan. Her boyfriend, Damien, gripped her hand tight, as he led her past lampposts and tourists on Fashion Avenue. One of the design firms held a by-invitation-only rave for tonight only. Damien scored the invite because he knew a girl who worked there. It gave Naveera a funny feeling that Damien always knew a girl, like falling from a height or getting high.

From across the street, strobe lights pulsed on one of the upper floors. Shadows flickered past the windows, followed by the familiar trails of glow sticks. She let herself be pulled toward the stone building, past the line of clubbers, and right up to the side door. The bouncer barely looked in her direction as he nodded Damien through.

After spending nearly $350 on a fake ID that she didn’t get the chance to use, Naveera gritted her teeth. The guy that printed it promised it would pass scanners and black light tests with a money-back guarantee. She wanted to test the theory. The only thing he couldn’t promise was her seventeen-ass self would pass for twenty-two. Naveera eyed her wardrobe: short skirt, tight top, and a push-up bra. So much skin, and the damn bouncer glossed her over!

A thick girl, with piercings Naveera envied, waved them further into the building. “I’m so glad you made it!” the girl’s lip ring cooed. “The rest of your band’s not here yet.”

“Oh,” Damien said. He didn’t match the other girl’s smile. Warm relief flooded through Naveera. “It’s early.”

She watched the girl’s pierced eyebrow raised when Damien introduced her as his girlfriend. Naveera shook the other girl’s hand, secretly feeling sorry for disappointing her. Clearly, she thought Damien was available. Clearly, Damien let her think it.

continue reading …

“Human” by Ethel Veva King Inspires Jen

HumanEthelVevaKingCrashing

When I was a small thing, all blond cowlicks and knees, not even tall enough to ride the shabby roller coaster at the Jetty, I swore the ocean waves spoke words. The water was off limits, no swimming, no fishing, no boats. But the waves whispered a native language only I could hear. These days, I don’t ride the roller coaster because it’s a deathtrap, and I know it was not the sea speaking.

It was the selkies.

For years they were stories my father told me to help me fall asleep at night. Tales of beautiful boys and lovelorn girls who lived in the ocean and shifted into the sleek dark forms of seals. To have their pelt was to have their loyalty, or something like that. I always fell asleep before the end.

Years later, I heard Maddox. I was seventeen. My heart was full of waves and I wanted to be among them. I waded in, though I’d never doggie paddled a day in my life. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t know how the waves would pull at my feet and my heart so hard that the shore would seem like more of an idea than something I could reach. I was a good swimmer, natural as breathing.

“Jesus Christ, you’re fast.” The voice was smooth as beach glass in my mind, with a lilt that leaned in funny ways.

continue reading …